Princess Anne named the new jetty which will house the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in a ceremony on Monday in Portsmouth.
The berth was officially named as The Princess Royal Jetty.
It will be home to the Royal Navy’s two new 65,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Formerly known as Middle Slip Jetty, the berth has been upgraded and strengthened to support the carriers.
Her Royal Highness met some of the workers involved in the jetty’s two-year refurbishment, as well as Royal Navy bomb disposal experts responsible for safely disposing of historic ordnance.
A number of wartime devices have been recently uncovered by dredging work in preparation for the arrival of the two new aircraft carriers.
“It was a privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness back into the naval base to officially name this historic jetty,” Cdre Rigby said. “Work continues at a pace to get our naval base ready for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year and the excitement builds as we now enter the final stages of work, testing and training ahead of her arrival.”
The jetty, parts of which date back over 90 years, has been refurbished in addition to the dredging of the approach channel, inner harbour area and berth in order to make them deep and wide enough for the new ships, moving three million cubic metres of clay, sand and gravel from an area the size of 200 football pitches.
Last week, the giant American supply ship USNS Robert E Peary tested the strength of the new jetty by coming alongside in Portsmouth. The US ship, which despite its mammoth size is still 200ft shorter than the Queen Elizabeth carriers, was the first vessel to use the jetty since its completion.